No Bull: Michael Steinhardt - 2001

No Bull is the eventful, honest and clear autobiography by Michael Steinhardt who rose from ‘rags’ in Brooklyn to the height of Wall Street. With an incredible net worth of over $400 million, and an annual return of 30% greater than other market benchmarks, Steinhardt is one of the most successful Wall Street Investors of all time.

Steinhardt spent over 30 years as a hedge fund manager, accumulating a massive fortune for himself and his clients. His leading hedge fund Steinhardt Partners L.P, created in 1967 increased 462 times in value from its inception to the time he retired. His success stemmed from his highly skilled industry analysis and his knowledge of stocks. The book accounts his investment strategies (which were often quite controversial and frowned upon by his high worth clients), which often led to some of his greatest successes. As a very independent thinker with a unique perspective on markets, he occasionally experiences disastrous failures such the foray of global macro trading in the 90s, and even larger successes such as staking everything on bonds in 1981.

Simultaneously, No Bull is very much a story of Steinhardt’s life, who was extremely successful in many areas but like many other people quite dissatisfied in other parts of his life. In additions to his love affair with stock investing, Steinhardt describes his need for a deeper life purpose which led to his retirement and philanthropic activities in future projects. He describes his experience as chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, and his strong affiliation with the Jewish community, which led to cofounding the Birthright Israel program – offering every young Jewish person of the Diaspora a free educational trip to Israel.

Filled with anecdotes and advice, No Bull is an entertaining read for all who enjoy a good biography. Forcing all to think about their investing decisions, it is highly recommended for finance professionals and students alike.

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